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Nancy Brinker
Nancy Brinker 2017.jpg
Brinker in 2017
30th Chief of Protocol of the United States
In office
September 14, 2007 – January 20, 2009
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byDonald Ensenat
Succeeded byCapricia Marshall
23rd United States Ambassador to Hungary
In office
September 26, 2001 – June 19, 2003
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byPeter Tufo
Succeeded byGeorge Herbert Walker III
Personal details
Nancy Goodman

(1946-12-06) December 6, 1946 (age 73)
Peoria, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Norman E. Brinker
EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BA)

Nancy Goodman Brinker (born December 6, 1946) is the founder of The Promise Fund[1] and Susan G. Komen, an organization named after her only sister, Susan, who died from breast cancer in 1980 at age 36.[2] Brinker was also United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2001 to 2003 and Chief of Protocol of the United States from 2007 to the end of the George W. Bush administration. Brinker, a breast cancer survivor, uses her experience to heighten understanding of the disease. She speaks publicly on the importance of patient's rights and medical advancements in breast cancer research and treatment.[3][4] She is currently[when?] serving as the World Health Organization's Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control.[5] Brinker is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Promise Me - How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer, released on September 14, 2010.

Brinker has helped build Komen by fostering a coalition of relationships within the business community, government, and volunteer sectors in the United States.[6] For her work on breast cancer research, Time magazine named Brinker to its 2008 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[7] Calling her "a catalyst to ease suffering in the world," President Barack Obama honored Brinker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, on August 12, 2009.[8]

Early life

Brinker (née Goodman) was born to a Jewish family in Peoria, Illinois,[9] the daughter of Marvin L. and Eleanor (née Newman) Goodman. Her father was a commercial real-estate developer and her mother a homemaker.[9][10] In 1968, she received a B.A. from the University of Illinois.[9] After school, she moved to Dallas, Texas and worked at Neiman Marcus as an assistant couture buyer. Thereafter she took various positions at other public relation firms before marrying Norman Brinker, the founder of the Steak and Ale, Bennigan's, and Chili's restaurant chains.[9]

Susan G. Komen

In 1982, Brinker established Susan G. Komen for the Cure, after a promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.[citation needed] Since its inception, the nonprofit organisation has raised over $1.9 billion[11] for research, education and health services,[12] making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world.[13] The Washington Post has called her the "steely force" at the organization.[14] Komen has more than 75,000 volunteers nationwide, 120 affiliates in the United States, and 3 affiliates in other countries. The organization has resulted in the development of many new treatment options and a higher quality of life overall for breast cancer patients and long-term survivors.[15][16] Brinker served as founding chairman of the organization, supervising all aspects of initial growth,.[17] On December 2, 2009, Brinker was appointed CEO.[2] She also pioneered cause marketing, allowing millions to participate in the fight against breast cancer through businesses that share Komen's commitment to end the disease.[18] Susan G. Komen for the Cure at one point held Charity Navigator's highest rating, four stars. As of November 2016, it held three stars.[19] In late January 2012, a public furor arose around the Foundation's policy decision to stop funding most Planned Parenthood offices, resulting in an apology from Brinker and a revised policy by the first week of February 2012.[20] On June 17, 2013, Judith A. Salerno replaced Brinker as CEO.[21]

World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador

Brinker is currently serving as the World Health Organization's Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control. She was appointed by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on May 26, 2009. She is the organization's public face for its fight to raise awareness and strengthen programs in poorer countries on behalf of the United Nations agency.[22] She advocated for strengthening global action for cancer prevention and control in the context of the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May 2008. Her message emphasized the need for low- and middle-income countries to strengthen comprehensive and evidence-based cancer control policies and programs.[23]

Chief of Protocol

On June 18, 2007, President Bush nominated Brinker to be Chief of Protocol of the United States and to have the rank of ambassador and assistant under-secretary of state. Brinker was sworn into the post on September 14, 2007. Her term lasted until January 20, 2009.[citation needed]

In this role, Brinker advised, assisted and supported the president, the vice president and the secretary of state on official matters of diplomatic procedure. She accompanied the president on official visits abroad and served as his personal representative and liaison to foreign ambassadors in Washington. The Office of the Chief of Protocol is responsible for activities including the planning, hosting, logistics, and officiating at ceremonial events for visiting chiefs of state and heads of government.[citation needed] On April 15, 2008, Brinker was the first American to greet Pope Benedict XVI upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base as part of her official duties.[citation needed]

The office also manages Blair House, the president's guesthouse. On October 7, 2008, Brinker hosted a symposium on "Breast Cancer Global Awareness" at the Blair House. First Lady Laura Bush joined the participants and for the first time ever, the White House was illuminated in pink for the occasion.[24]

As Chief of Protocol, Brinker expanded the role of the office through outreach programs intended to foster better relationships with the Diplomatic Corps. The effort, known as Diplomatic Partnerships[25] involved over 60 events, including "Experience America", where the Diplomatic Corps traveled throughout the United States to meet with business and civic leaders.[26][27]

Ambassador to Hungary

Brinker served as United States Ambassador to Hungary from September 2001 to 2003.[28] A political appointee,[29] she advanced a broad range of American security and economic interests.[30] Specific successes include expanded security cooperation, development of a closure strategy for the Hungarian Fund, resolving commerce transparency issues, and for the first time, holding a conference on the trafficking and exploitation of workers that health ministers from the neighboring Balkan States attended. She also raised awareness about breast cancer among Hungarian women by leading a march over the Chain Bridge in Budapest. The bridge was illuminated in pink for the occasion.[31]

While ambassador, Brinker began to collect Hungarian art. Today,[when?] her collection spans 100 years, from just before the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the present and has been on display at several museums around the United States. The collection is one of the largest outside of Hungary.[32][33][34][35] The collection extends and complements the acknowledged masters of Hungarian modernism and has introduced the American audience to original artists of more modest reputation.[36]

Hungarian President Ferenc Mádl decorated Brinker with the Order of Merit, Medium Class, Cross Adorned with Star, for her work in advancing bilateral relations and in recognition of her charity activities.[37][38]

The Promise Fund

The Promise Fund of Florida[39] was created by Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Julie Fisher Cummings and Laurie Silvers in 2018 to address the issue of the lack of preventative diagnosis of breast cancer among women in South Florida. The Promise Fund of Florida's goal is to raise $5 million by the end of 2021. This money will be used to expand the network of community-based breast and cervical health “Navigators” among underserved communities to facilitate both diagnosis and treatment at qualified, local health facilities.[40]

Other government service

Business career

In 1994, Brinker founded In Your Corner, Inc., a company selling health products and information. In Your Corner, Inc. was sold to AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in 1998.[44][full citation needed][45][full citation needed]

She testified before the United States Democratic Policy Committee's Congressional Breast Cancer Forum and participated in the International Women's Forum.[46]


Brinker has received the following awards and titles:


Brinker has co-authored four books:

  • Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer , co-authored with Joni Rodgers - September 14, 2010
  • The Race is Run One Step at a Time, co-authored with Catherine McEvilly Harris
  • 1000 Questions About Women's Health, co-authored with Dr. H. Jane Chihal
  • Winning the Race : Taking Charge of Breast Cancer, co-authored with Chriss Anne Winston

Brinker wrote the forewords for:

  • Tamoxifen for the Treatment and Prevention of Breast Cancer by V. Craig Jordan
  • Tamoxifen: A Guide for Clinicians and Patients by V. Craig Jordan


Nancy Goodman married her first husband, Robert M. Leitstein, an executive at Neiman Marcus; they divorced in 1978.[10][72][full citation needed] They had one son.[10]

On February 13, 1981, Nancy Goodman wed Norman E. Brinker, a pioneer of the casual dining industry[73] and founder of Brinker International, which provided access to capital and influence which enabled her role in public service.[74][75] Norman Brinker provided funds and methodology for building the Komen foundation. The couple were major contributors to George W. Bush's first presidential campaign.[76][77] They divorced shortly after the 2000 U.S. Presidential election,[78] but Norman Brinker remained a board member of Komen for the Cure, having served on its board since its founding in 1982 until his death in 2009.[79]

Brinker is a major funder of gay marriage initiatives.[80][81][82][83][84] She serves on the Advisory Board of the Harvey Milk Foundation.[85]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Dallas Business Journal (December 2, 2009). "Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker returns as CEO | Dallas Business Journal". Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c [1] Archived November 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Speakers Bureau, Public Speakers, Inspirational Keynote Speakers and Celebrities". Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "Nancy Goodman Brinker named the World Health Organization's goodwill ambassador - Mike Allen". Politico.Com. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  6. ^ David ahlberg. "Wisconsin State Journal". Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Roberts, Cokie (May 12, 2008). "The 2008 Time 100: Nancy Brinker". Time Magazine. 171 (19). Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  8. ^ a b "Remarks by the President at the Medal of Freedom ceremony | The White House". August 13, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d Encyclopedia of World Biography: "Nancy Brinker" retrieved July 25, 2013
  10. ^ a b c Tresniowski, Alex (October 29, 2001). "Promise Kept Driven by a Vow to Her Dying Sister, the New U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Nancy Brinker, Revolutionized the War on Breast Cancer". The People. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  11. ^ Mcdonald, Karen (January 20, 2010). "U.S. House honors Nancy Brinker - Peoria, IL". Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  12. ^ "Komen founder Brinker named to magazine's list of influential people". The Dallas Morning News. 03/05/2008. Retrieved November 13, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ "Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of the World's Largest Breast Cancer Awareness Organization to Speak to Palestinian Audience" (Press release). U.S. Department of State. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
  14. ^ Hesse, Monica (February 15, 2012). "Nancy Brinker: The steely force in the Susan G. Komen foundation". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  15. ^ "Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation". Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  16. ^ "Oncology Times" (PDF). Oncology Times. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  17. ^ [2] Archived March 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Retrieved December 8, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  19. ^ Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Charity Navigator. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  20. ^ Belluck, Pam; Preston, Jennifer; Harris, Gardiner (February 3, 2012). "Cancer Group Backs Down on Cutting Off Planned Parenthood". The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  21. ^ "KOMEN BREAST CANCER CHARITY NAMES NEW CEO". AO. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  22. ^ Retrieved May 26, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  23. ^ "WHO | Nancy Goodman Brinker appointed Goodwill Ambassador". May 26, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  24. ^ "Embassy of Hungary, Washington, D.C". Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  25. ^ "Diplomatic Partnerships". Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  26. ^ "The Washington Diplomat". The Washington Diplomat. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  27. ^ [3]
  28. ^ "Nancy Goodman Brinker - U.S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary". Archived from the original on September 22, 2006. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  29. ^ Tresniowski, Alex. "Promise Kept". Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  30. ^ [4] Archived February 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Embassy of Hungary, Washington, D.C". June 6, 2005. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  32. ^ "Private Collection of Hungarian Art Comes to Maltz". July 23, 2007. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  33. ^ "Great Paintings, Small Masterpieces: Selection of Early 20th Century Hungarian Art - NYC". January 24, 2009. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  34. ^ "Orme Lewis Gallery". Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  35. ^ "Great Paintings, Small Masterpieces: Selection of Early 20th Century Hungarian Art from the Nancy G. Brinker Collection". Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  36. ^ "Hungarian Art Collection of Ambassador Nancy Brinker in the U.S." Embassy of Hungary. November 14, 2006. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  37. ^ Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Archived from the original on August 13, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ "Kennedy Center Administration Our People: The Board of Trustees". Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  42. ^ a b c "U.S. Department of State Biography: Brinker, Nancy Goodman". Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  43. ^ "Nancy Brinker: Bush Pioneer". Texans for Public Justices. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  44. ^ "Nancy Brinker: She's racing toward a cure". June 29, 1999. Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  45. ^ "In Your Corner Official Website". Archived from the original on March 2, 2010. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  46. ^ Retrieved September 29, 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  47. ^ "Alumni Achievement Award 1990-1999". Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  48. ^ "Jefferson Awards:National Winners". Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  49. ^ "Prix de cancérologie". June 12, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  50. ^ Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  51. ^ a b c d Bio: Nancy G. Brinker Archived January 20, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ a b[dead link]
  53. ^ Archived from the original on October 20, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  54. ^ Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved February 10, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  55. ^ "Diplomatic Pouch - Hungary's Modern Art Gaining Attention". Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  56. ^ "Nancy Brinker and Lance Armstrong honored with Centennial Medals at the AACR 2007 Annual Meeting". 11/04/2007. Retrieved November 14, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  57. ^ "Mariano Barbacid receives Medal of Honour" (PDF). Madrid. May 18, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 29, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  58. ^ "Health Care Hall of Fame Inductees: Nancy Brinker". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  59. ^ "Nancy Brinker to receive 2009 Porter Prize". 09/03/2009. Retrieved November 14, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  60. ^ Korn, Majorie (12/08/2009). "Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker receives Medal of Freedom". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  61. ^ "The Presidential Medal of Freedom". The White House. Archived from the original on May 4, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  62. ^ Korn, Majorie (5/07/2013). "Susan G. Komen founder 100 Most Trusted People in America". Reader's Digest. Retrieved May 7, 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  63. ^
  64. ^ "Peoria Journal Star".
  65. ^ "Nancy Brinker". Texas Women's Hall of Fame. Denton, Texas: Texas Woman's University. Archived from the original on February 8, 2013.
  66. ^ Dargan, Michele (February 2, 2010). "Nancy Brinker to receive Anti-Defamation League award for breast cancer efforts". Palm Beach Daily News. Archived from the original on October 9, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  67. ^ "President Bush to Nominate Brinker to be Ambassador of the United States to Hungary". May 23, 2001. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  68. ^ "ASCO Special Award Winners". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  69. ^ Murphey, Mary (March 27, 2002). "Brinker to receive Sword of Ignatius Loyola award". The University News. Saint Louis University. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  70. ^ "Deirdre Imus' Advocacy for Children's Health Garners National Volunteer Service Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine". May 24, 2006. Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  71. ^ "History of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest". Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  72. ^ "Nancy G. Brinker | Susan G. Komen®". Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  73. ^ "A Heaping Plate of Ventures for Chili's Impresario". The New York Times. August 29, 1992. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  74. ^ "Nancy Brinker, Founder, and Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO, Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Twenty-Five Years at the Forefront of the Breast Cancer Movement". 01/06/2007. Retrieved November 14, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  75. ^ Fetterman, Debbie (03/04/2007). "After 25 years, Komen group still fighting for a cure". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved November 14, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  76. ^ Archived from the original on October 18, 2008. Retrieved February 10, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  77. ^ "Nancy Brinker, Bush Pioneer". July 2000. Retrieved November 14, 2010.
  78. ^ Tresniowski, Alex (October 29, 2001). "Promise Kept". People Magazine. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  79. ^ Grimes, William (09/06/2009). "Norman Brinker, Casual Dining Innovator, Dies at 78". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  80. ^ Geidner, Chris (September 20, 2012). "Former RNC Chairman Hosting Marriage Equality Event With Tony Kushner And Dan Savage". BuzzFeed. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  81. ^ "Liberty Awards National Dinner: Sponsors". Lambda Legal. April 18, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  82. ^ "Komen CEO Nancy Brinker hosts fundraiser for gay-rights group". January 28, 2013. Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  83. ^ Garcia, Michelle (January 29, 2013). "Komen Founder Raising Money for Gay Rights With Son". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  84. ^ "For Komen founder Nancy Brinker, gay rights is another issue close to the family". The Washington Post. January 28, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  85. ^ "Leadership & Advisory Board". Milk Foundation. Retrieved May 8, 2013.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Peter Tufo
U.S. Ambassador to Hungary
Succeeded by
George Herbert Walker III
This page was last edited on 23 September 2020, at 07:36
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